How reliable are the 12" MacBooks?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by RegularGuy09, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. RegularGuy09 macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2015
    I know its difficult to say, but how long can these laptops last? I know many people still use MacBooks they bought in 2008 etc. Are these new MacBooks just as reliable/durable or has the quality dropped? I hear they are better in the regard they dont have as many moving parts(ssd) and dont have fans. So does that make a difference?

    Are the MBPs better in that regard?

    I'm buying a machine, that I'm gonna use for years and want to last. Just looking for some educated advice.
  2. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Our 2015 rMB are fine but I consider myself more lucky than anything with these KB types

    Its all a numbers game past 2 years, the bigger issue is the size of bill you get when something does go wrong

    It's more likely to be double previous older style MB's because of construction method and homogenisation with logic boards having everything soldered on
  3. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    I would do some research on the batteries. There’s probably a lot of info on that on the forums. I believe the 12” has a bad reputation regarding those.

    Keyboard is another issue, lots of complaints to be found on the forums.

    I’d say there’s a nice balance between the move to non-moving less-complicated parts and the move to non-removable parts. On the one hand non-moving is more reliable, on the other hand you can’t swap them out for new parts. My guess would be that they’re very comparable (2008 vs now).

    Best recent laptop ever made? 2015 15” MacBook Pro base model (no dGPU). The less complicated, the better. That’s why I currently like the non-Touch Bar 13” MBP.
  4. RegularGuy09 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2015
    So the same issues plague the MBPs as well I assume?

    Thanks. I'm hoping the keyboard issues are rectified in the next refresh. MacBooks are known for their robustness and reliability. If its updated well, I'll surely be considering an MBP. Otherwise I might just have to buy an 13" Air and take a hit on the display.
  5. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Like for like Macbooks are no more reliable than any other premium device post 2 years

    Its the serviceability that has drastically changed of late, along with extra care required with the KB's

    Unfortunatly only the Air follows the old path even on batteries

    It's not just Apple many devices now are relatively sealed and expensive to repair
  6. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017

    1. My current 2017 MacBook is fine, but it's less than 1 year old.

    2. For my older MacBook and MacBook Pro (see my sig) the main things that went wrong were a defective fan, a trackpad that went out of whack causing missed button presses, and hard drive issues. It should be noted that the current MacBook does not have any of the above parts. There is no fan, no mechanical trackpad, and no mechanical hard drive.

    OTOH, I fixed all of those issues myself. The trackpad issue was fixed by adjusting a screw, I replaced the fan with one off eBay, and I installed an SSD in both. I also have poor battery life now in both and could just get new batteries online as necessary. The current MacBook is basically unrepairable, and the batteries are not available anyway.
  7. BODYBUILDERPAUL, Apr 8, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018

    BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Feb 9, 2009
    Hmmmmmm it's a fascinating one this.
    1. I got 8 years of use from a end of 2009 white MacBook BUT it was so underspeced that at 3 years old along with the Mavericks OS, it was a pretty horrible experience - super slow, spinning beachballs on Safari etc.
    2. I had a 2015 which was replaced with the new 2017 due to battery problems.
    3. For me, the new MacBook 12" is wonderful (My FAVOURITE Apple design) BUT i'm not convinced that it will last more than 3 or 4 years. It's so lightweight and fragile.
    4. What i've learnt is BUY APPLE CARE and maybe DON'T SPEND MORE THAN YOU HAVE TO.
    5. Therefore, you are covered for 3 years and after that, who knows.
    6. Maybe just buy the M3 in its basic form and enjoy and then trade it at 4 years. That's what i'm planning. I'm just gutted that I need 512GB as £1550 was a heck of a lot of money for something that may not last long.

    MAIN MAJOR ADVICE - BUY APPLE CARE = 3 to 4 years of pure enjoyment. Any extra is a bonus plus in 4 years time, the MacBooks may of evolved into something that you'd be desperate to get your hands on :) Who knows Micro LED? Apple's chips instead of Intel? 24-48 hours battery life???

    But it's the same with an iPhone £800 or £1000 and after 3 years, it's pretty useless in speed, battery etc etc. I've the iPhone X now on a 2 year contract, so i'll do like I always used to do and upgrade my phone every 2 years. My old 4S, I kept for 5 years - loved the design BUT after 2.5 years the OS updates slowed it down so much that it was nasty to use and after 3 years the battery would last 3-4 hours or if I used Google maps, i'd get 5 minutes before the battery died completely.
  8. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I did future proof my MacBook in that I got 16 GB. We will see if that machine lasts long enough to fully utilize 16 GB. Right now 8 GB is Ok for me 90% of the time.

    I only got the m3 with 256 GB though since I know that I don’t need a ton of storage on my laptop (which is a secondary machine) and I’ve always found memory amount more of a bottleneck than the CPU speed.
  9. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Feb 9, 2009
    Yes the M3 is excellent. The 2015 MacBook is 3 years old now - would be great to hear from people with 3 year old MacBooks as the AppleCare will be running out on those etc. What is interesting is whether the 2015 models feel old or slow in 2018 as 3 years is still pretty young I guess and could be an indication as to how they will fare over the next 2 years.
    Certainly the SSD along with 8GB of RAM and Apple's more recent efficient OS offerings is keeping them performing well.
  10. Fthree macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2014
    I am interested in this as well. I have both a 15 and a 13 inch 2015 pros and have since purchased a 2017 maxed 13 inch pro and took it back I essentially figured out that it wasn't necessary to upgrade due to the fact that the 2015s are both alive a kicking very well. The 2015 is my daily go to (work, Coffee shops) while the 15 stays at the house and is used for bigger tasks (and my wife's school work) I may look into the 12s in the future as I love the design.
  11. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    The 2015 felt a bit sluggish even in 2015.
  12. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Feb 9, 2009
    Yeah, kind of worrying in terms of its longevity. Amazing design though! Amazing how fast the gold model has dated badly IMO. I had that originally, now I cringe when I see the colour. Still love the rose gold one though :)
    --- Post Merged, Apr 8, 2018 ---
    Talking about coffee shops - I was in the Rapha Bicycle shop with coffee house in London a few weeks ago. It was inspiring to see it full of young 20 somethings typing blogs on their MacBook Pro's along with the most elegant, breath taking lady who was typing on a space grey 12" MacBook. I'll always have that beautiful memory :)
    Great bike shop with the best espresso in the UK as far as i'm concerned :) and the orange cake with cream frosting WOWZER!!!
  13. east85 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    Because of the design of the 12" Macbook, if any point on motherboard ever goes bad you will need to waltz into an Apple Store and potentially have to beg them to remove the motherboard so they can use a proprietary lifeboat connector to save your data. Apple doesn't sell these to the public or make them available to unauthorized service providers. In addition to purchasing AppleCare It's always good practice to employ an external Time Machine backup solution no matter what. You should calculate that expense as well when considering any Mac with a soldered SSD.
  14. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Feb 9, 2009
    Great advice buddy! I myself use a LaCie portable hard drive once a week to back everything up. When I worked in graphic design prior to studying at university, we would back everything up from the Macs before we left the office every evening!

    Certainly we Apple care, you are covered for a good three years and maybe another year after depending how generous Apple are feeling.

    We are making this sound scary but in all 100% honesty, owing a MacBook or Apple product is a very beautiful experience that I do not believe you can get anywhere else! Even the Apple TV is pure bliss!!!
  15. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    The 2017 m3 is noticeably faster than the 2015 M, and the 2017 m3 doesn't feel sluggish to me, although YMMV. If you compare a 2017 m3 to a 2017 MacBook Pro with i5 side-by-side, you can definitely see a difference in surfing performance and OS navigation. However, IMO the 2017 MacBook m3 has reached that threshold where most things for surfing feel quite speedy nonetheless. The difference for me with the 2015 was that even just with general usage I found it lagged a bit. Nothing that was a deal killer, but enough to be noticeable at times.

    This not a huge surprise though since in benches the 2017 m3-7Y32 is anywhere from 25% to 45% faster than the 2015 M-5Y31. I also like the 2017 keyboard much better. It was for these reasons, and because the 2017 got the h.265 HEVC decoding upgrades is why I waited so long to buy the MacBook. I also was able to configure the 2017 with 16 GB RAM, so I figure this machine should last me a while.

    As for the gold, I still like the gold, but ended up getting the classic silver. IMO the classic silver look never gets old and it also hides scratches the best as there is no anodized paint to wear off. I do like the rose gold too though. The one I like the least is the space grey, even though I'm male in a professional environment. ;)

    BTW, this message was typed on a Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz white MacBook 2008 running Chrome OS, on an old hard drive. Despite being such an old machine, it's still seems more than usable. However, that's with Chrome OS. In macOS with an old laptop hard drive, this machine is unbearable to use even with 4 GB RAM.
  16. RegularGuy09 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2015
    Although I like the design and specs for both the machines(13" rMBP and 12" rMB), the many complaints about the keyboard and lack of ports has turned me off. I'm gonna be using an external 1080p display a lot of the time anyway, so I think I'm gonna get a base 13" MBA. Its super cheap, and apart from the screen, is basically a perfect laptop for me. Powerful, light, ports, reliable, great keyboard and trackpad and amazing battery life. Unless Apple offers something better in that price point during WDCC, that's what I'm going for this summer.

    Thanks for the advice guys!
  17. PsychicRutabaga macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2015
    Still rocking my 2015 gold rMB 1.2. It's my daily personal use laptop and it still does everything I need it to. Never had a problem with it.
  18. tomscott1988, Apr 12, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018

    tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009
    Ive had my 1.1 2015 macbook a year almost to the day and had no issues with it at all. Keyboard is fine, battery is ok. After around 180 cycles its on 83% health which probably is one of its faults.

    I actually like the keyboard, I find it fast to type on. Took me a while and didnt like it at first but really like it now. I use a first gen apple chicklet keyboard daily and dont find the difference a deal breaker.

    I take mine everywhere with me because I find almost 0 penalty to do so its so small and light. I do have a problem with the screen the metal surround next to the space bar has warn into the screen and the keys have also left indentations. This has happened on every Apple laptop I have ever owned but its still very annoying for an expensive product.

    The screen did have a dead pixel and this was replaced under warranty. Otherwise its been fine so far.

    Its not the quickest or most capable but for everyday tasks its been fine.
  19. Cheruman macrumors member


    Apr 30, 2007
    Same here.

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